Ground Chicken Chili with juicy chicken, fire roasted tomatoes and hearty beans is the perfect bowl of comfort. It lasts for days, freezes well and is an easy hands-off dinner.
Healthy chili is one of my favorite dinners to cook! I got tired of the usual ground turkey chili and ventured out the ground chicken chili path. It was easy, full of fresh ingredients and my whole family “inhaled” it.
Chicken can be quite plain and boring but not this healthy chili with ground chicken. We add bold flavors with fire roasted tomatoes and diced green chilies, a hearty bite with meaty beans, and a lineup of crazy delicious toppings!
Who can resist?! Let’s make it!
Ingredients and Notes
At a first glance, this ground chicken chili recipe ingredients list might seem long but I assure you they all are very simple ingredients. It is mostly pantry staples and spices.
- Ground chicken: I used store-bought ground chicken breast. You can also grind it yourself in a food processor. Stay away from extra lean ground chicken at the grocery store as it is very dry and flavorless. You can also use ground turkey in a pinch.
- Canned beans: One can of low sodium red kidney beans (I love to make Instant Pot kidney beans) and one can of white kidney beans. Truly you can use any type and color of beans like pinto beans, black beans (love Instant Pot black beans) etc. Also here is detailed tutorial how to cook dried beans on the stove.
- Fresh vegetables: Onion, garlic and bell pepper to saute in olive oil to add flavor to otherwise plain poultry meat.
- Fire roasted tomatoes: I recommend to use fire-roasted tomatoes from a can because they add extra layer of flavor. In a pinch, you can you regular diced tomatoes and add extra 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
- Tomato paste: To add more bold flavor and color to the ground chicken chili. Diced tomatoes in broth do not add as much color as tomato sauce, therefore tomato paste helps a lot.
- Diced green chilies: You can find them in a small 4 ounces can in a Mexican aisle of any grocery store. Substitute with 1 chopped fresh jalapeno, if you wish. Make sure to remove majority of seeds for more mild chicken chili.
- Chicken broth: Low sodium chicken broth or chicken stock. You can also use vegetable broth.
- Spices: Simple seasonings like low sodium chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt and ground black pepper.
- Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil for sauteing the veggies. You can also use avocado oil or any favorite oil for frying.
How to Make Ground Chicken Chili
Making ground chicken chili is super simple in 4 easy steps. You only need one pot which means less dishes to clean. Follow these steps and you will have a piping hot bowl of chili in no time.
Usually I use my large Dutch oven but this time I decided to use my new ceramic pot and ended up with delicious chili!
- Saute the veggies: Make sure your large pot is hot and oil is heated too. First, saute onion and garlic. Then saute bell pepper. Allow veggies to caramelize a bit. Now add spices and cook them for 30 seconds as heat makes them more flavorful.
- Brown ground chicken: Add chicken and cook it for 5 minutes while constantly stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula.
- Combine all ingredients: Add beans, canned tomatoes, green chilies and broth. Stir with a wooden spoon.
- Simmer and adjust: Cover pot with a lid and bring everything to a boil on high heat. Then you want to reduce heat to low and let chicken chili simmer for 30 minutes. It is more to allow flavors develop because most ingredients are already cooked.
Tips for Best Results
Here are a few tips I learnt from testing this ground chicken chili recipe in my kitchen a few times.
- Brown veggies in stages: You want to do so in stages to allow browning and not steaming of each vegetable. It makes chili so more flavorful!
- Make your own minced chicken: Not every grocery store carries ground chicken. Make your own by processing cubed chicken breast in a food processor until coarse texture.
- Work with your ingredients: This easy chicken chili recipe is very forgiving. Use what you have in your fridge and pantry, taste and season at the end and adjust thickness. So easy!
- To thicken the chili: At the end, give chili a stir as liquids usually collect at the top. If you would like a thicker ground chicken chili, remove the lid and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes allowing the water to evaporate.
- Always season few times: With any soup, it is a good idea to season once before cooking and second time at the end. You know your taste best!
What do I serve this delicious chili with? So many options! First of all the toppings!
- Diced avocado and red onion
- Grated cheddar cheese or crumbled cotija cheese
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Finely chopped cilantro or green onion
- Lime wedges and dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
How to Store, Freeze and Reheat
Store: Allow your chili to cool down completely. Transfer it into an airtight container and refrigerate chili leftovers for up to 5 days.
Freeze: If you are in a mood for meal prep, this easy ground chicken chili recipe is perfect to make a large batch of or even double it and freeze for later easy dinners.
Cook chili and allow it to cool completely on a counter. Transfer to airtight containers leaving some room for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw chili soup, leave in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Reheat desired amount by simmering in a small pot on low heat. Chili splatters a lot, so I recommend to keep the lid on while reheating.
Yes. Saute veggies and chicken in a skillet, transfer to a slow cooker along with other ingredients and cook on Low heat for 8 hours or on High heat for 4 hours.
Yes. Saute veggies and chicken in pressure cooker on Saute setting. Then add remaining ingredients and pressure cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
Yes. Use ground turkey, ground beef or even ground pork if you are not a fan of ground chicken.
Simmering chili in a pot uncovered in the end for 10 minutes will help thicken the soup.
Try a pinch of cinnamon, cacao powder or espresso powder. A splash of beer, wine, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce or liquid smoke. Have fun with your ground chicken chili.
More Chili Recipes to Try
- Buffalo chicken chili
- Instant Pot chicken chili
- Instant Pot turkey chili
- Instant Pot beef chili
- Chicken quinoa chili
Ground Chicken Chili Recipe
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil for frying
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 14 ounces can red kidney beans low sodium, drained & rinsed
- 14 ounces can white beans low sodium, drained & rinsed
- 14 ounces can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 4 ounces can diced green chilies
- 1 cup chicken broth low sodium
- 1 tablespoon chili powder low sodium
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat large Dutch oven or pot on medium-high heat and add oil. Add onion and garlic, saute for 3 minutes. Then add bell pepper and saute for another 3 minutes.
- Add chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and saute for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add ground chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring and breaking into small pieces with spatula constantly.
- Add tomato paste and stir until well combined. Then add red kidney beans, white beans, fire roasted tomatoes, diced green chilies, chicken broth and stir.
- Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- After stir chili and adjust salt to taste, if necessary. Serve warm with your favorite toppings.
- Store: Refrigerate ground chicken chili for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Reheat desired amount in small pot by simmering on low heat. Cover and stir occasionally until warmed through.
- Freeze: Make sure to cool chili completely and then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.